so i was flying out of salt lake city yesterday. i was sitting in the gate with my mother while my father went hunting for food. i turned to my mother and said “you know, at lot of NHLers are returning to their teams today. how cool would it be if we saw one? i mean, this is a common stop for flights out west. maybe we’ll see some western conference people on a layover.” she isn’t really into hockey as much as me, but she was intrigued, and asked if i would actually recognise them. and i was like well i’d recognise a lot of people from different teams and a good deal of prospects. so my father came back and we were chatting. they were discussing food, and i zoned out. and then i looked at this small family coming towards our gate. i saw the facial hair and said whoa it looks like grabs! but nah, why would he be out in ut—-OH MY GOD IS THAT BABY AIDAN AND HEATHER LYNN OH MY GOD IT’S THEM. (this was all interally) i sat upright and out of the side of my mouth said to my mother oh my gosh i think it’s michael grabner from the islanders.
so i waited a bit until they sat down behind us a few rows. he was sitting checking his phone next to a young blondish guy who looked vaguely familiar but i wasn’t sure if it was just generic hockey face. so i waited until heather and aidan were at a nearby table because i didn;t want to disturb them. i walked over and was calmly like “hi i’m really sorry to bother you, but are you michael grabner?” and he moves to stand up, saying “yes i am.” and i’m like “oh my gosh hi i’m a huge fan and i don’t mean to be a creep or disturb you while you’re travelling with family but i was wondering if i could take a picture with you?” and he was like “sure no problem!” and we chatted for a second and he signed a map i had and i apologised a lot for interrupting him and he was laughing like it’s fine it’s fine. and i was so nervous but just acted natural and thanked him profusely, shook his hand, and went back to my family.
i didn’t take any creeper pics or anything because, like, why be a crazy fan when he was already nice enough to talk to me. heather is fucking gorgeous and the baby was so cute. they also had their dog who was adorbs. they ended up sitting just in front of the first class bulkhead and i was like a few rows into business class, but it was a smallish plane so the seats and cabins weren’t particularly different.
when i got off, i mentioned to one of the cabin crew they had an islander on the flight and one said “we had two! well we had an islander and a flyer!” and i was puzzled. like who the fuck was the flyer on the flight? i know the flyers and the phantoms and no one looked familiar. but anyway i’m thinking maybe the guy with him was a prospect? anyway we saw them again getting their luggage and it turns out the car they hired was literally across the aisle from ours.
i am just still in a great mood because he’s one of my favourite islanders and players in general because he’s funny and lovely. and i’m just really thankful i had the courage to go over and he was so accommodating for a fan.